Downton Abbey, Castle Combe & Avebury Circle
Our Walks » The British Isles

Downton Abbey, Castle Combe & Avebury Circle

Introduction

Literature and FilmAncient ManPhotographyGardensEasy-to-Moderate-Walking

Get to know the lives of lords and servants on this Walk in the heart of the English countryside. The Upstairs / Downstairs theme takes you through some of the Cotswolds’ prettiest villages crammed with thatched cottages, and to the stately home and splendid gardens at Bowood House. To crown it all, we visit Highclere Castle, owned by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and the setting for Downton Abbey, as well as Bampton village, one of the main Downton locations.

Literary links abound. We visit beautiful Lacock, a village mostly owned by the National Trust and featured in the BBC’s Cranford and Pride and Prejudice, and our route through ancient Savernake Forest takes us close to Wolf Hall, home of Jane Seymour, featured in Hilary Mantel’s eponymous bestselling novel.

Walk Summary

Dates

20-JUL-14 - 26-JUL-14

31-AUG-14 - 06-SEP-14

Trip

6 nights

Terrain
Easy-Moderate

Walk Rating: Moderate. Country byways, well-trodden footpaths, village lanes, low hills. 6-10 miles of walking per day.

Price

US$4,195.00 per person double occupancy
(single supplement US$565.00)

The Walk begins at Clanfield, arrival at Oxford Rail Station and ends in Chippenham, departure from Chippenham Rail Station.

Walk Itinerary

Sunday

We meet for our Welcome Talk and Dinner at our lovely hotel in Oxfordshire.

Overnight: Clanfield

Monday

After a morning stroll along the river, we board a boat to take us to lunch in The Trout at Tadpole Bridge, a wonderfully peaceful setting. In the afternoon, we wander around the village of Bampton, where both the village library (the hospital in the drama) and the church frequently feature as backdrops, and Matthew's mother’s house is the attractive Churgate House. This evening, an author joins us evoking the era of Downton Abbey and talking about country house life from the servants' perspective.

Overnight: Clanfield

Tuesday

This morning's walk takes us to Avebury, with its Neolithic henge containing three stone circles. Unique amongst megalithic monuments, Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe and is one of the foremost prehistoric sites in Britain. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, we continue our walk past one of the famous Wiltshire White Horses carved into the hillside before reaching our hotel in Marlborough. We have dinner in a private house near Marlborough College, alma mater of the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton), and near the site of Jane Seymour's Wolf Hall on the edge of Savernake Forest. 

Overnight: Marlborough

Wednesday

Today we visit Downton Abbey!  In reality, this is Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Our morning walk takes us along local footpaths and within the private estate before we stop for a country pub lunch. Our afternoon highlight is a visit inside the castle itself, seeing the actual rooms where the series is filmed.

Overnight: Marlborough

Thursday

This morning we walk to the impressive Bowood House, the family home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, for a look inside the house and a special guided tour around the private walled gardens, all set in 100 acres of stunning parkland laid out by Capability Brown. After lunch there, we continue to Lacock where we walk around the beautiful village, mostly owned by the National Trust, and featured in the BBC’s Cranford, Pride and Prejudice and the Harry Potter movies.

Overnight: Castle Combe

Friday

We explore picturesque Castle Combe, often called the Prettiest Village in England; this idyllic spot has starred in many movies from Doctor Doolittle in 1966 to War Horse in 2010. We then walk in the charming Cotswold countryside surrounding Castle Combe before returning to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner.

Overnight: Castle Combe

Saturday

The Wayfarers provides a courtesy transfer to Chippenham rail station.

This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.

Hotels

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This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.

Photo Gallery

Highclere Castle - tv\'s Downton Abbey The Avebury ring is the oldest stone ring that is known to be in existence anywhere in the world. 2500BC Manor Hotel in Castle Combe Castle Combe One of Wiltshire\'s famous white horses Castle Combe cottage Lacock Abbey cloisters Coach house and stables at Lacock Castle Combe Castle Combe Castle Combe Pub in Castle Combe Village Square in Castle Combe Avebury Stone Circle

Travel Information

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FAQs

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  1. Are there any hidden costs?
    Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
  2. How large are the Groups?
    Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
  3. Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
    Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
  4. Can you accommodate special diets?
    Yes!
  5. How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
    If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.

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From the sceptred isles of Britain to the shores of the New World, The Wayfarers continue to blaze new trails. The unique Walks that began in 1984 in England now span Europe, the United States and New Zealand with fresh itineraries, new destinations and innovative ways of experiencing the special culture of country life. In the British Isles alone The Wayfarers walk in Pentillie Castle, Jane Austen Country, The Bronte Trail, Dartmoor and Exmoor, The Lake District, Northern Ireland, The Ring of Kerry just to mention a few of their walks.